UKC Forum Member
Registered: Jul 2003
Competition (pre 1981--- 100 and 100 rules). Under the 100/100 rules the tight mouth dog did have a slight disadvantage. Although the tight mouth dog could more often tree 1st, the strike dogs would quickly cover, and could still beat you on total plus points.
Competition (1981+ --- 100 and 125 rules). The pendulum swung to the advantage of the 1st tree dog. I loved this rule change! You could take 3rd strike, 1st tree, even if the 1st strike dog was always the first one to cover. You still win the cast. Back then, the strike dogs typically covered (same tree), so a 1st tree dog (tight or not) had the advantage.
Competition (more recently--- 100 and 125 rules). People realized that if you can't consistently beat a 1st tree dog with a 2nd or 3rd cover tree dog. What to do? Well, if you have a 2nd/3rd tree dog, you don't want them to cover for 75 or 50 points. You want your 2nd/3rd tree dogs to split from the 1st tree dog. That way, they get just as many tree points as a 1st tree dog. People bred and/or trained for this pretty successfully. The pendulum swings against the 1st tree dog (because they can all be 1st tree dogs---points wise). When they can all be 1st tree dogs, strike points matter. So, now the open trailing dog (more strike points) can be back to having an advantage over the tight mouthed track dog (because we have allowed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th tree dogs just as many tree points as 1st tree dogs).
So, now, a dog can strike 1st, get deep and lonely, while other dogs tree coon before him and behind him, and a babbling deep and lonely dog beats all the dogs that treed before him and behind him. It's the strike points that win it for him. That's on the surface. What really wins it for him, is that we allow a 3rd or 4th tree dog to get 1st tree dog points.
There would be no need to penalize open trailing hounds if we gave 1st tree dogs more points than 2nd, 3rd, or 4th tree dogs.
Why would we want to penalize a legitimate 1st strike, 1st tree dog, by allowing a 3rd strike, 3rd tree dog (split) get just as many points? To me, a legitimate 1st strike, 1st tree dog should be what we are striving for, not something we should be fighting against!!! I just don't believe in striving for mediocrity.
I fully understand that if you have that 3rd and 3rd dog (split), you may disagree with me.
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